If you’re writing Newtmas fan fiction, James Dashner might actually be reading your words

‘The Fever Code’ is out in the world! So before we lose you to it, we’ve got THE interview with its esteemed and beloved author that you need to read right now.


Let’s be right, James Dashner is a boss man. Don’t believe us? Just see these answers… (It’s going to be a very merry Newtmas, fanfic friends).

What made you want to revisit Thomas and his world before ‘The Maze Runner’? It’s something I wanted to do almost from the very beginning—when I sold the first book to Random House in America I told my editor that someday I wanted to write at least one prequel. With their memories being wiped and all the mystery surrounding their previous lives, I just think the series lends itself well to such a thing. Plus, I missed my characters!


Would you have survived the Maze? This just might be the easiest question I’ve ever received: NO. I’m a wimpy little child inside and I basically would’ve hidden behind a tree until one of the Grievers killed me.

Did you find it difficult to hand over your series to Hollywood? Not at all, actually. I love movies so much, that I’m willing to give them a chance with my books. You just can’t replicate that feeling of seeing your story come to life on a giant screen. Having said that, I’ve been very lucky to have Wes Ball and all of his crew do what I consider to be a spectacular job on The Maze Runner books so far. Maybe I’d feel differently if they’d totally botched it.


There are a lot of character deaths throughout the series. Are there any you regret? You know, the world they are in is such a harsh one, that I felt it could only be true to the story to have several of the main characters die. But I never did it lightly—a lot of thought and angst was put into each one. There might be a certain death that I regret, but it’s probably not the one that everyone talks about or thinks about. That’s all I’ll say on the matter!


Do you remember the first story you ever finished writing? Yes I do! I was about eight-years-old, and it was about a mammoth, then a tiger, then a caveman—all of whom got stuck in a tar pit as they chased each other. The last line of the story was, “And they all died.” I still have the original copy. Looks like I was destined from a young age to kill people.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be? Well, in real life, I’d be an accountant, because that’s what I studied in college and would still be doing if my career hadn’t taken off. Why accounting? I blame my uncle! If I could choose anything in the world, I’d be a striker for Arsenal.


Do you ever read the fan fiction about your characters? No, I’ve tried to avoid it to make sure none of it influences me. But I love that so many of my readers are passionate enough about my world to write fan fiction. That’s just something that’s so cool and that I never dreamed would happen. It was such a thing with Harry Potter. Now that the series is over, maybe I’ll start digging in.

One book you think everyone should read? The Stand by Stephen King. You want a bleak, dystopian, post-virus world with the best cast of characters ever? That’s your book, written decades before a lot of the stuff we see today, including mine.

‘The Fever Code’ is waiting for you to pick it up, book fam! You can get it from all good UK retailers, including this one.

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Written by Sarah Clare

Sarah is the Lead Writer and Design Queen here at Maximum Pop! Sarah holds an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University, and a BA in Creative Writing with English Literature from Marjon (BIG UP THE MARJON MASSIVE!). Sarah joined MP! after seeing an advertisement for writers on Instagram – because where else would a design master find their dream job?

Sarah is currently working on an expose on Draco Malfoy in her spare time. But not if his father hears about it.

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